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I'd like to thank

I'd like to thank


As we take a breather between the Oscars and the Daytime Emmys, I for one am exhausted. One of my life's greatest ironies is that I've always dreamed of experiencing the glamour of the red carpet, and now that I'm actually receiving invites to such events, I never want to leave the house. Believe me, I'd rather be curled up on the couch eating a bowl of macaroni and cheese watching a Project Runway marathon.

Awards shows are work. Think of them as great big office parties held in a shark tank. Unless you're able to navigate the waters, you will end up as chum. Nobody knows this as much as yours truly. As the third banana on a sitcom running on a network that is about to go under, I know my place in the Hollywood food chain. I once had a photographer yell at me to "get the fuck out of the shot!" The celebrity he so desperately wanted to snap? The Taco Bell chihuahua. Unless you're Cameron Diaz, the awards show carpet can beat your ego to a bloody red pulp. Here are some D-list tips for getting in and out of the auditorium with your dignity intact.

1. Arrive early. Really famous people arrive minutes before the show starts. If you arrive the same time as Sharon Stone or a famous fast-food mascot, don't expect anyone to pay attention to you. Your goal as an attendee is to get your picture taken and to talk to as many media outlets as possible. Photos of you in magazines and footage of you on the 11 p.m. news make it seem as if you're famous, even though you've achieved absolutely nothing. Just ask Nicole Richie.

2. Don't go alone. Why experience the horror alone? I always bring a pal and play "Celebrity Photo Safari," where you try to get as many photos as you can of yourself with your head next to someone famous. Not only that, a good friend can make sure you don't look like an asshole. I once attended an awards show solo and spent half the evening posing for pictures with salad in my teeth. Not a good look.

3. Touch the money. If you find yourself on the carpet with a celebrity you actually know, touch them as much as possible. Hug and kiss them as if you were never going to see them again. This also guarantees coverage. I once attended a premiere with Nia Vardalos, and I did everything but put her entire head in my mouth. The result? A full-page photo in The Hollywood Reporter.

4. Don't take anything personally. You will only get your feelings hurt. My very first Hollywood event was the GLAAD Awards in 1999. I had written a solo show called Pointless, which was about my Internet dating experiences, and I was a nominee for Best in Los Angeles Theater. I arrived at the check-in table, and an intern with a headset told me I wasn't on the list. I said, "Are you sure? I'm a nominee. My face is in the program and everything." Again, he insisted he couldn't find my name as two other publicists elbowed past me to walk Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jay Leno, and Elizabeth Taylor into the auditorium. I was all set to leave when a GLAAD representative, awash in apologies, rushed out to escort me in personally. I could've stalked out furiously and denounced my own community as the biggest bunch of star-fuckers, but I got it. It's not always going to be about you.

Besides, I really wanted to meet Elizabeth Taylor.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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